The C20 West Group visited Bristol Harbourside on Saturday 22nd October. Meeting at the S.S. Great Britain, the Group were able to see the re-generation of this area of Bristol that has taken place over the past two decades. There is now a mix of new build apartments and converted former warehouses, although some projects are still work in progress. The result is that the Cumberland Basin is now a lively area of Bristol with activities both on land and on the water.
The focus of the event was a visit to the home of a C20 West Group member with a chance to see their collection of 20th century furniture, ceramics and paintings. Their home is near the habourside and has provided a blank canvas for the display of their extensive collection. The member’s interest started when young whilst working at The Festival of Britain and later at Heals. The collection covers the 1950s and 1960s as well as some modern pieces. It is not easy to pick out the highlights but here are a few.
In the dining room we had coffee from Arabia “Ruska” designed by Ulla Procope in the 1950s and Rosenthal’s “Kaari” designed by Timo Sarpaneva. Above the table we all admired the Poulsen lamp by Poul Henningsen.
Etchings by Dali of his work “St John of the Cross” now in Glasgow Art Gallery and a small etching by Eric Gill drew lots of attention.
The ceramics cabinet shown held key work by Scandinavian potters Stig Lindberg, Berndt Friburg, Gunnar Nylund and Carl-Harry Stalhane as well as German potters Gotlind Weigel and Karl and Ursula Schied.
One of the delights of a personal collection is hearing the stories around the acquisition of the items. Our member had searched for 50 years for a Robin Day recliner before finding one in very poor condition which he completely renovated, an image is included. Members who tested the chair declared it very comfortable. Having found a classic “Round Chair” by Hans Wegner in an auction room he somehow managed to carry it through London and get it home on a coach.
There were many, many more items enjoyed by the Group and we are very grateful to our member for sharing the wonderful collection.